Specialized Scans

CMI’s investment in cutting-edge technology and highly specialized coils gives us the ability to reach beyond the standard of routine imaging.

Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI)

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is one of the most common and devastating types of traumatic brain injury occurring in cases of severe head trauma. It is also increasingly recognized to be an important factor in moderate and mild traumatic brain injury.

Susceptibility Weighted Imaging is a new MRI sequence that relies on the magnetic susceptibility of tissues or compounds in the brain, such as iron-rich Hemosiderin, which is a byproduct of hemorrhage. Because of the Blood Brain Barrier, Hemosiderin deposits remain in the brain for a very long time after the initial trauma, SWI has been shown in several studies and in clinical application to be much more sensitive in detecting microhemorrhages than conventional methods, such as T2*-gradient echo (including 3 Tesla imaging).


Whether a casual fitness enthusiast, a weekend warrior or a high performance athlete, the risk of a sports related injury is an unfortunate reality. If you have such an injury CMI will quickly and accurately diagnose the problem and start you on the road to recovery.

Why MRI instead of X-ray or CT?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a vital diagnostic tool in the assessment of sports injury. While both x-ray and CT (computed tomography) are relied upon in the acute setting (in the hours after injury) and are useful for the detection of fractures and the immediate assessment of head injury, there are recognized limitations to their utility with respect to the evaluation of soft tissue injury. In addition, both CT and x-ray expose the patient to potentially harmful ionizing radiation.

Coronal Shoulder MRI Coronal Wrist MRI

What are the clinical advantages of MRI for a sports related injury?

MRI is one of the most powerful, non-invasive techniques in diagnostic medicine.

The sensitivity and specificity of MRI allows for the identification of very subtle abnormalities in soft tissue of the body including ligaments, tendons, bone and cartilage.

Examples of injuries diagnosed with MRI include:

  • Ligament tears
  • Cartilage tears
  • Fractures
  • Bone bruises
  • Muscle strains/tears
  • Traumatic brain injury/concussion

One of the many advantages of MRI is its ability to identify and localize problems at a much earlier stage of development, due to its increased sensitivity to differences among tissues. The appropriate treatment can therefore begin sooner, with greater certainty, resulting in more favourable outcomes and fewer complications.

Axial Knee MRI Sagittal Knee MRI

Why choose CMI for your sports injury related MRI?

At CMI, we use state of the art, high field (1.5 Tesla), open-bore technology allowing for advanced imaging with maximum patient comfort.

Not all MRI’s are created equal. The importance of utilizing such advanced technology, combined with specific protocols and sequences, supported by radiologists who specialize in the area of the body being imaged cannot be overstated. This critical combination offers you and your referring practitioner the diagnostic confidence you require and deserve.

At CMI, your MRI will be scheduled immediately. Your rapid access to our sophisticated technology will ensure that decisions concerning possible surgical or medicinal intervention can be made quickly and accurately, which will help you on your road to recovery.

Whole Body Preventative Screening

CMI offers a comprehensive, non-invasive health screening program. We use state-of-the-art MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology to scan your body and generate highly accurate images of your vital organs and systems.

In less than 60 minutes, 2000+ detailed images are collected and then screened for the early detection of lesions, tumours, anomalies and such life-threatening illnesses as aneurysm, stroke, cancer and vascular disease. These sophisticated images allow our radiologists to identify suspect areas with a high degree of probability, thus increasing the potential for the early detection of life-threatening and treatable conditions.

Early detection of any disease or issue is critical, allowing both the patient and physician to make vital healthcare decisions before symptoms arise, while treatment options are at their best.

In contrast to other whole body MRI imaging programs in Vancouver, our Health Screening Program was developed by radiologists who are based at internationally respected teaching hospitals and who specialize in the areas being examined.  CMI’s Whole Body MRI scan concentrates on those areas which have been well documented to yield the most benefit from early detection. While not every cancer benefits from early detection, many do, such as renal cell carcinoma, liver cancer & certain gynecological cancers. In addition, whole body MRI screening focuses on life-threatening illnesses such as aneurysm, stroke, and vascular disease without exposing the patient to any harmful ionizing radiation.

The principle areas on which our screening program focuses are as follows:

1. Aneurysm screening

Both brain and abdominal aneurysms (AAA) continue to have a very high mortality when they rupture but, when detected, there are evolving, minimally invasive techniques available for treatment. When AAA’s are repaired electively, the overall mortality rate is 0.9 to 5%.  If repair is delayed until rupture, mortality rates as high as 75% are reported.  In aneurysms 4-5 cm in diameter, the risk of rupture is almost 25%, with an associated mortality rate as high as 75%.

2. Kidney

Kidney tumours generally display consistent growth patterns (but are generally asymptomatic).  When they are detected early, they have a very good prognosis (if detected in stage 1, there is a 90-95% 5 year survival rate vs. stage 4 which has a 5% 5 year survival rate).

3. Compression fractures of the spine

Compression fractures of the spine are a cause of progressive impairment when undetected and untreated.

4. Pelvic screening

Ovarian cancer is often asymptomatic until its later stages and is associated with high mortality when discovered at an advanced stage.  Early detection is critical to survival improvement.

5. Pancreatic Disease

Thorough evaluation for pancreatic disease, including both inflammatory processes and malignancy (cancer).

6. Liver lesion detection

With diffusion weighted MR imaging, CMI’s open bore, high field strength magnet provides state of the art techniques to detect small liver lesions not offered routinely in hospital practices.  Small lesions become more apparent using this advanced technique and the lesions that are uncovered will be evaluated thoroughly when required.  This is particularly of value for those with known chronic liver disease.

7. Biliary diseases

Gallstones and other abnormalities of the gallbladder and bile ducts are evaluated exquisitely using MRI.  This is the best non-invasive way of evaluating the biliary tree.

Does this mean that whole body MRI screening is able to identify every issue within your body?

Absolutely not.  As with all medical examinations, it has its recognized limitations.

Whole body MRI does not have the capability to effectively diagnose coronary artery disease or evaluate the lungs for cancer (all of which are better done with CT). In addition, as a screening tool it is not optimal for the diagnosis of early colon or prostate cancer. It is also important to recognize that while whole body MRI screening has the potential to uncover a cancerous finding early, this does not guarantee that the cancer found will react successfully to treatment.

Each whole body scan performed at CMI is double-read by Board Certified radiologists who specialize in the areas they are reporting.  Should a scan detect an area of concern, that concern will be discussed by one of our radiologists directly with the designated primary care physician and a follow-up plan will be recommended as required.

Many life-threatening diseases can be conquered with early detection. CMI’s Preventative Health Screening Program is a wise investment.

Contact us now to book your MRI